I think that was close to the anagram of "National Dark friend Social" that I left on Thursday's reception (several of us had a go at it, and as it was several Long Islands into a one-meal no-sleep day, I don't quite remember). Anyway, I think that someone took a picture of it. Hey, at least I only messed with our sign :)
Anyway, now that I've had a bit of sleep, here's my report.
6 weeks before the Weekend: Work on feature to make sure that everything will be OK for the one day I take off (Friday).
Wednesday night / Thursday morning: Finish everything so I can leave at noon (not much sleep the last few days).
Thursday afternoon: Rush to airport. Find that I have a 2+ hour delay for a 50 minute flight (Phoenix to LV). Eat airport hotdog (only food for day).
Arrive in LV just in time for rush hour in a poorly laid-out city. Glad I spent so much effort to get in before 3pm.
6pm: Arrive at hotel -- I was informed that "one of my little friend's" had already checked in and said we were "some sort of nerd convention". I lose some money in casino waiting for "free" Long Islands and an appropriate time to go to the reception (read the doors were closed at 6:30 so I though I'd play a few minutes and go back up. A few minutes turned out to be about 90).
Later -- go to reception: It was fun. This was my first social, so I didn't know anyone. Met drew, Bill, Ken, and others (I was tired, so nothing much stood out at first). Most everyone went to Binion's for food. They split us up into lots of tables, and (despite or because of I haven't yet determined) eating only an airport hotdog, I wasn't hungry. I wandered away, intending to come back, but the lights were too hypnotic, so I poured more money into the nice jingling machines.
Friday: Not much sleep, but what the hell. Got up, didn't see anyone so I ate a breakfast buffet. When I was done, I ran into a group (Bill, Ken, others) heading for CPK (California Pizza Kitchen). Despite having just eaten, I joined them for good conversation (that was the point of going, after all).
I don't remeber much of the afternoon, except that some more slot machines got my money (Note: I am not much of a gambler, so most of my limited experience is slots).
Dinner: I had a most excellent time. I sat with the Loys, Ken, Kate, Sydo (I think), Maggie and David. I wasn't sure if David's warder shirt was a violation of the "This is *NOT* a convention" policy, so I didn't kill him. This time. :)
After dinner, Drew braved the crowds by pulling out his guitar. I guess he thought that a year of planning wasn't enough for us, so he had to provide entertainment as well. Despite not knowing any of the classics (e.g., Smelly Cat), he did a good job on Hotel California. Actually, when Drew "went on stage", I thought I was at a concert -- the lighters, the calls for "Free Bird" -- all that was missing was a bonfire. And I think that that was just because the staff was lucky we didn't know how much they loathed us at the time. Seriously, thanks to Drew et al for an excellent time.
After dinner, most of us sat around and talked (no, really). I remember talking about books (in general, there was very little RJ talk) with Mark and some others.
Mark Loy: What was the "Tigrana?" book you told me about? I don't remember what the title was.
After the dinner was officially over (i.e., we were kicked out), I went to Binion's Horseshoe with John Dillick, Jim Hill and others (who left after a while), where those two introduced me to serious two-dollar minimum BlackJack. I made everything I lost to the slots back in six hours. Thank you again Jim and John for putting up with my inexperienced play.
Lunch with Bill and Chris Mullins(sp?) -- lots of tech talk. Sorry for bashing SGI, Bill -- I just like to bitch a lot.
Afternoon: More BlackJack with Jim, John [Dillick], and others at Binion's. Won lot's (relative to $2 minimum) more. JSN3 joined us, and I was amused when the dealer informed Mr. Novak that whoever cut the cards couldn't complain about what he was dealt. I remember Steve Moss, CD, Dave and a few others around.
Dinner -- tried the Cheesecake Factory thing, but the line was *WAY* too long. Went to the Italian place with Bill, Hawk, Novak, and others.
Night: Went with Thor, Bill, Hawk, and Pam to the Strip, after checking out the adult SuperStore. Watched Hawk run up a large sum of money. Pam was tired, and I missed Binion's, so we split a cab back. I probably overtipped the guy, but it's worth noting because this is the only cabbie I've had that didn't try to strike up witty banter. I wandered around aimlessly for the rest of the night, but hey, it was Vegas. No sleep til dawn.
Sunday: Got up. I hadn't been able to find anyone up for the Nugget's famous (at least within their casino) Champagne brunch. After waiting an hour in line, me and my SS7 book finally got in. It wasn't bad (the champagne helped). I left, and on the way out ran into Maggie, David, Dave, and Ken (who weren't around earlier when I was looking), so I watched them eat. After no sleep,no caffeine, and lots of champagne, I guess I was still twitching, because Maggie noted earlier. Word of warning: I don't get much more relaxed, even while asleep. If you thought that was twitchy, you should see me fully awake. :)
Went to see who was by the pool -- pretty much everyone left. I stayed there until I had to leave (I'll leave the return trip to separate post). I'd say I'm sorry I missed dinner at the Excalibur, but after reading the other reports I'd have to conclude that I'm not sorry.
Anyway, I met lots of people, had lots of great conversation, and a really good time. I hope I recover by the end of the millenium.